Skip to comments.Debunking Centuries of Anti-Catholic History
Posted on 01/01/2020 1:05:44 PM PST by CondoleezzaProtege
Dr. Rodney Stark has written nearly 40 books on a wide range of topics, including a number of recent books on the history of Christianity, monotheism, Christianity in China, and the roots of modernity...His most recent book is Bearing False Witness: Debunking Centuries of Anti-Catholic History (Templeton Press, 2016), which addresses ten prevalent myths about Church history...
CWR: You begin the book by first noting your upbringing as an American Protestant and then discussing distinguished bigots. What is a distinguished bigot? ...
Dr. Rodney Stark: By distinguished bigots I mean prominent scholars and intellectuals who clearly are antagonistic to the Catholic Church and who promulgate false historical claims.
CWR: How did you go about identifying and selecting the ten anti-Catholic myths that you rebut in the book? To what degree are these myths part of a general (if sometimes vague) Protestant culture, and to what degree are they encouraged and spread by a more secular, elite culture?
Dr. Stark: ...These myths are not limited to some generalized Protestant culturemany Catholics, including well-known ones, have repeated them too...
CWR: How did the mythology of the Dark Ages develop? What are some of the main problems with that mythology?
Dr. Stark: Voltaire and his associates made up the fiction of the Dark Ages so that they could claim to have burst forth with the Enlightenment. As every competent historian (and even the encyclopedias) now acknowledges, there were no Dark Ages. To the contrary, it was during these centuries that Europe took the great cultural and technological leap forward that put it so far ahead of the rest of the world...
CWR: In addressing Protestant Modernity you flatly stated that Max Webers thesis that Protestantism birthed capitalism and modernity is nonsense. What are the main problems with Webers thesis?
(Excerpt) Read more at catholicworldreport.com ...
“Voltaire and his associates made up the fiction of the Dark Ages so that they could claim to have burst forth with the Enlightenment.”
“Historians typically regard the Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period, sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages, as lasting from the 5th or 6th century to the 10th century.[note 1] They marked the start of the Middle Ages of European history. The alternative term “Late Antiquity” emphasizes elements of continuity with the Roman Empire, while “Early Middle Ages” is used to emphasize developments characteristic of the earlier medieval period. As such the concept overlaps with Late Antiquity, following the decline of the Western Roman Empire, and precedes the High Middle Ages (c. 11th to 13th centuries).”
“The period saw a continuation of trends evident since late classical antiquity, including population decline, especially in urban centres, a decline of trade, a small rise in global warming and increased migration. In the 19th century the Early Middle Ages were often labelled the “Dark Ages”, a characterization based on the relative scarcity of literary and cultural output from this time. However, the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantine Empire, continued to survive, though in the 7th century the Rashidun Caliphate and the Umayyad Caliphate conquered swathes of formerly Roman territory.”
“Many of the listed trends reversed later in the period. In 800 the title of “Emperor” was revived in Western Europe with Charlemagne, whose Carolingian Empire greatly affected later European social structure and history. Europe experienced a return to systematic agriculture in the form of the feudal system, which adopted such innovations as three-field planting and the heavy plough. Barbarian migration stabilized in much of Europe, although the Viking expansion greatly affected Northern Europe.”
Has the good Dr. debunked the Inquisition yet? /s
He does indeed and perhaps sways too far in the defensive direction. Two things to keep in mind though:
1) Anti-Catholic narratives are heavily behind the current woke need within the USA to do away with paying proper homage to Christopher Columbus, and the new world explorers who advanced Christendom beyond the West.
2) Protestant excess had a hand in shaping the Germany that would give rise to Hitler and the Holocaust.
Dr. Stark: When I began as a scholar, everybody including leading Catholics knew the Church was a primary source of anti-Semitism. It was only later as I worked with materials on medieval attacks on Jews that I discovered the effective role of the Church in opposing and suppressing such attacksthis truth being told by medieval Jewish chroniclers and thereby most certainly true. Why do so many intellectuals, many of them ex-Catholics, continue to accept the notion that Pope Pius XII was Hitlers Pope, when that is so obviously a vicious lie? It can only be hatred of the Church. Keep in mind that it is prominent Jews who defend the pope.
Fourth Lateran Council (1215)
Canons 78, 79: Jews and Moslems shall wear a special dress to enable them to be distinguished from Christians. Christian princes must take measures to prevent blasphemies against Jesus Christ.
You have a very incorrect view of history...and apparently current events.
Did I mention the sad loss of aesthetic values in the arts and architecture? The cheapening of liturgy and the commercialization of the church?
I have read a couple of Rodney Stark’s books.
I highly recommend them.
The liberty we enjoy derives from English legal and political tradition, in particular the Anglo-Scottish Enlightenment. Moreover, the enlightenment political traditions in both GB and the continent were aggressively opposed to clericalism and established churches of all kinds. Had this country been founded by the French or the Spanish, it would have been a very different place politically.
One settled by heavily Protestant beliefs....the other by heavily Roman Catholic beliefs.
I think you should be able to figure out the differences.
Seriously, Adolpf Hitler, a Roman Catholic, was shaped by Protestant excess?
Sounds like the sort of story Joseph Goebbels (also a Roman Catholic) would have made up.
These strains of thought are rooted in a continuum of Catholic thinking and legal tradition, not merely in spite of.
There are some nice historical writings unpacking the Reformation and its coinciding with the Enlightenment to chip away at the Wests Christian foundations for civilization and its sense of Christian identity.
the vatican has literally hordes of precious art they sit on and occasionally display while their people starve in third world countries. Did he mention that while slandering protestants?
yes.. anti semitism he lovingly learned at the knee of the Roman Church
The dark ages happened because of Islam. Centuries of Muslim sourced warfare, raiding, slaving and piracy disrupted commerce and society. The enlightenment didnt end the dark ages, the ability of Europeans to better defend themselves against Islam and therefore restore commerce did ... something built on the backs of Europeans taking back control of the seas, itself an outgrowth of internal rivalries and colonialism, at the same time the heathens of the Islamic Ottman were rotting in their own pot under ideas such as there being no cause and affect
In the midst of all that all that the RCC gained purely worldly power largely in the absence of the Western Empire as one of the few things in the West that had any cohesion. Of course it moved to solidify that power ... but it didnt cause the circumstances from which it could grow into a political power vacuum.
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